Social Media Sabbatical (SMS): Day 5 – 05 Aug 18 – Buh Bye FB phone app

Hello all…

So, for the past five days, I’ve been waxing philosophically about the results, merits, etc, of now scrolling social media. I don’t really miss FB (although I did wind of people in the Apple Watch Fitness Fans Group, of which I am one of the, and most active posting, admins) posting about me in reference to a topic. One of the membes, who convinced me to tell the group I was gonna be AWOL for August, said…”Doug’s on social media sabbatical, LOL” (what’s with the “LOL”? #eyeroll…hahah).

I decided I was going to post everyday of this journey, and I will hold fast to that. What I do see happening is once it becomes more habit and less getting used to, the posts may become shorter, but thats cool. Part of this exercise is really to see what I activities I end up substituting for the scroll time. They’ll be varied, I’m sure, but it’s certain that making time to learning this coding language, Python, will be one. So far it’s going well. I’m developing a project while doing tutorials (the best way to learn is to do). I’ve created a sub page here on my blog for that. I’ll be posting there more, as well as on my exercise and fitness sub page. As my friend-in-sabbatical, DarrenKeith said today, the absence of the scroll, has made blogging refreshing again. Definitely check out his blog – This World My Life

One thing I do know is after five days, I’m certain the FB app will not be back on my phone. Instagram, that’s a different story because it’s used for my music production and film scoring branding (at least for now). The key thing with any social app, overall, is to “control the scroll”

This is one of these short posts, it appears.

Have a great night (or day, evening, etc).

peace,
Fresh

Social Media Sabbatical (SMS): Day 4 – 04 Aug 18 – Phone Usage/”Attention Residue”

Ahh yes…Saturday greetings. Hope yours is going or went well. I got up later than I wanted to (if you want to call 8:30 am late). Getting up no later than 7am on a Saturday (a free one, where I don’t have to go choir musicians rehearsal at 8 am), is what I like to do because it seems like I get more out of the day. My body this morning, on the other hand, thought differently. In any event, I got up, with my phone by my bedside, and realized and remembered that I deleted the Facebook and Instagram apps – which means that there is nothing to scroll through as I used to do so many mornings before even getting ready for the day. The Twitter app, however, I still had on my phone for the convenience of posting my #100DaysOfCode status.

I went downstairs, made breakfast (omlettes) and proceed to eat and decided to click on the Medium app to see if there were any interesting stories to read. Once again, ironically, I came across this one: The Benefits of Unplugging and Choosing To Be Present. Of course, this was a must read. Yeah, I know, there are plenty of similar stories out there on this very topic…I get it, but I still choose to read each one I come across, just in case there is a new perspective not formerly mentioned. What I found reiterated in this story is this (because it walked right down my street):

“For everyone else who finds themselves pulling out their phone when they have a free fifteen seconds, this was eye-opening. It seemed as if every free moment, I’d reach into my pocket looking for a convenient distraction. And sacrifice any opportunity for deep reflection. In the words of Dr. Daniel Levitin:

“Every time you shift your attention from one thing to another, the brain has to engage a neurochemical switch that uses up nutrients in the brain to accomplish that. So if you’re attempting to multitask, you know, doing four or five things at once, you’re not actually doing four or five things at once, because the brain doesn’t work that way. Instead, you’re rapidly shifting from one thing to the next, depleting neural resources as you go.”

I say reiterated because earlier this year, I read one of the most compelling (to me) books on productivity that I’ve come across – “Deep Work” by Cal Newport. I turned my friend, Calandra Branch on to this book as well She read it and can attest to it’s greatness. In this book, Cal mentioned the same thing but in slightly greater detail. In Chapter 1, he writes about what scientists believe the foundation of why deliberate practice works – myelin.

“Myelin is a layer of fatty tissue that grows around neurons, acting like an insulator that allows the cells to fire faster and cleaner…This new science of performance argues that you get better at a skill as you cevelop more myelin around the relevant brain neurons, allowing the corresponding circuit to fire more effortlessly and effectively, To be great at something is to be well myelinated…it provides a neurological foundation for why deliberate practice works. By focusing intensely on a specific skill, your forcing the specific relevant circuit to fire, again and again, in isolation…The reason, therefore, why it;s important to focus intensely on the task at hand while avoiding distraction is because this the only way to isolate the relevant neural circuit enough to trigger useful myelin.”

Whether you believe in this neurological correlation or not, I happen to believe its true by experience (he also writes about “attention residue” – when multitask, there’s a “residue” from the previous task that will lessen the attention/focus you will spend on your current task. The key is (as illogical as it may seem to some, is to avoid the facade of multitask (seemingly getting more things done in less time( and create time blocks to do focused work in sequence. Intense focus during a block of time leads to great productivity.

The whole reaching for the phone thing in any bit of free time applies to me. Thinking I was using that time to constantly learn more in my free time is a logical thought, but truth be told, more of that free time (small as it may have been at times) I found myself scrolling and participating in social media. For that reason, this morning, I deleted Twitter from my phone as well.

As a result, what I REALLY noticed in day 4, is that I had less reason to want to carry my phone around with me. It made me realize that it was JUST the social media apps on there, but the need to want to use the phone to connect virtually anywhere besides social media. It was a necessary and revealing thought. Today the phone was with me less and less. As for Twitter, I’l post my coding status via computer only.

I’m learning….

Thanks for the read…
Fresh!

Social Media Sabbatical (SMS): Day 3 – 03 Aug 18 – Twitter/Usage Curbing Apps?

Greetings all…

Day 3, baby… It was a good day, productive at work. This particular spacecraft mission I’m working on is getting busier, especially with my immediate boss down at KSC supporting the Parker Solar Probe launch activities (we launch on a Delta IV on 11 August – hopefully we don’t slip).

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned the belief that when you drop off social media, for whatever reason, *generally* you’re not really missed for a number of different reasons – folks busy with their own social media movements, folks busy with life, etc. DarrenKeith, who’s also on this sabbatical for the same reason, mentioned that sometimes you ARE actually missed. I replied in agreement. Interestingly, before he made that comment. I got this DM via Twitter:

It not only showed me that DarrenKeith was on point in his reply, but it showed me that how I roll on social media IS actually noticed, even if never publicly said. Good thing, yeah.

So yeah, Twitter is the only social network I’m still using for my 100 Days of Code progress status. Originally, my plan was to auto-schedule my status posts via Hootsuite, but I decided to keep the Twitter app on my phone for convenience. The one *issue* I see I am still having with this is….I’m still seeming to scroll tweets beyond what notifications or replies I’m getting via my progress status post. That said, I think I’m going to remove the app from my phone. Why? One of the other reasons for the sabbatical is to reduce the “phone addiction” EVERRRRYONE knows how convenient it is to scroll social media, play games, read news, whatever, via this mobile device. In short, my approach is to use the phone for what it was originally designed for – to make and receive calls. In other words, put it down – stop walking around with it.

Ironically, I got this email today about how Facebook and Instagram are developing tools to help the user spend less time on the phone. While this is not brand new, and I understand the intent, for the most part, I’m like….”Yeah, right”. The concept is oxymoronic to me. In summary, I agree with the last two sentences of the last paragraph:

“For some users, it might be enough to make social media feel nice again. But for most of us, it won’t do much to slow the scroll.” If you’re interested in the article, you can check it out here.

That’s it for now…

::: oceans of rhythm :::

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Social Media Sabbatical (SMS): Day 2 – 02 Aug 18 – FOMO?

Hello….

Day 1 has come and gone. I created the graphic above from a gif I came across last night, here. It ironically was timely, and since I like black and white iPhone lock screens, there you have it. It will be my lockscreen for the rest of the month. Now, have I totally disappeared from the network? No, I’m still posting my 100 Days of Code progress and these posts to Twitter, but gone is the activity of hanging out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I made no major announcement of unplugging, save a public one to the Apple Watch Fitness Fans Facebook group. I have been a very active admin there and was convinced by two members I privately let know about this jump off, that I should tell the group. Other than that, i told the admins of two other Facebook groups I co-admin. Frankly, in general, I think people rarely care if you decide to take a break from social media or not. They are too busy involved with their social media feeds, and other things to notice…most of the time, anyway,

Today was a good day at work with respect to not missing scrolling social media. Had a brief, but good text dialog with DK today on how we are both doing on this sabbatical. With only one official day in, I’m already seeing how much ‘attention residue’ occurs from constantly stopping to check social media throughout the day, even for a few seconds (whether it’s the phone or via other media). I also realized that this habit is not just relegated to the convenience of a mobile device, but to the computer as well, seeing as though most of us are connected to the internet at work.

I was interested to see how soon I’d have withdrawal symptoms from being off of FB and IG….so far, none. The lack thereof (of withdrawal symptoms and not being on these two sites) is telling because it’s showing me, already, that it’s not as necessary as I thought (or subconsciously felt) it was. That said, once the true realization sets in (I’m being realistic in that it’s barely been two days in), I then have to realize how I will truly use the freed ip time to for the better. I’m slowy assessing it, not in what I will use it for but how I will get in the habit of basing my after work time to do so. After all, this whole thing, in the end, is about using time more wisely and productively. Using time not from a productivity gain approach but from an overall value gain approach.

Thanks for the read….I’m out.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Doug

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Broadening the workout horizon

Greetings all…

Earlier tonight I posted a blog about day 1 of 31 of my social media fast for the month of August. Part of the daily social media regimen is being an admin to the Facebook group, Apple Watch Fitness Fans. I usually post my daily exercise and workout results there, like many of the members there. Since I’m on sabbatical, I thought it would be the perfect time to start posting here again, like I used to.

I did a recent post that analyzed my exercise journey during the first six months of 2018. One of the things I learned from that is the types of exercises I tended to do the most (and least of). That said, I decided to create a balance, based on the results I found. Tonight (especially since it was late) I decided to do a functional workout, since I’d like to gain more core strength, It was a short one, but staying on this track consistently will help be balance the scales out.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Back soon.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Social Media Sabbatical (SMS): Day 1 – 01 Aug 18 – The Reasons

Greetings All.

Here we are again. Over the last month (particularly the latter half), I began to take stock of how much time I was spending time on social media and what the spent time is actually netting me and allowing me to move forward to achieve the goals (of many sorts) I’d like to achieve. In other words, what’s my return on investment (ROI)? In the grand scheme, I determined that ROI wasn’t amounting to as much as I’d it to be.

How did I come about that decision. I reached it in two ways. The first was noticing how many times each day I looked at wasn’t completed on my to-do list and the amount of times I complained that if I hadn’t spent the time posting, reading, and scrolling my social media haunts (primarily Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), I would have accomplished more on that list.

Sure some of that surfing/reading allowed me to gain some knowledge about some things that would benefit me now and in the future, BUT, it still left me lacking in the completion department.

That said, I decided to get off all three for the entire month of August (the exception being posting to Twitter with regards to the rules of the #100DaysOfCode campaign I’m involved in. My long time friend, fellow geek, and podcaster, DarrenKeith Wyatt, has vowed to take the same sabbatical with me, so I guess you can call us “accountability partners”.

We’ll see how far this thing takes us, day by day, in hopes of providing a true picture and realization of just how much spending time on social media (more importantly how you spend it) can affect (negatively or positively) the forward motion, productivity, and goal reaching you hope to attain

Thanks for the read.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh

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